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Chronic Disease Prevention and Management Programs (CDPMP) offer systematic care for the chronically ill through assessment, treatment, and education and follow up. This approach can improve the quality of life for patients and reduce the demand on hospital care. CDPMP use a multidisciplinary approach involving physicians, nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals and the most importantly the individual and family.

Chronic Disease management programs assist the individual to engage in self-management behaviours that allow the individual to live well with one or more chronic conditions. These tasks include gaining confidence to deal with medical management on a day to day basis, role management, and emotional management that control or reduce the impact of disease. Effective chronic disease programs help to prevent flare-ups or more severe episodes of illness and ultimately improve the individual’s quality of life.

This approach reduces reliance on the acute healthcare system thereby decreasing healthcare costs.

Examples of chronic diseases include cancer, heart failure, high blood pressure, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and depression. Today, half of Canadians live with a chronic disease. (North Simcoe Muskoka Health Service Plan, October 2006).